Study: Kilgore Rangerettes inspired $8.3 billion industry - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Study: Kilgore Rangerettes inspired $8.3 billion industry

The Kilgore Rangerettes were founded in 1939 by Miss Gussie Davis (Source: The Perryman Group) The Kilgore Rangerettes were founded in 1939 by Miss Gussie Davis (Source: The Perryman Group)
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Since their inception almost 75 years ago, the Kilgore Rangerettes have been changing the way people in Texas and across the country experience football games and other events. Now, a financial analysis firm in Waco has released a survey on the economic benefits of the precision dance industry that has been inspired by the Kilgore College Rangerettes.

The Perryman Group found that the precision dance and drill team industry inspired by the Rangerettes include an estimated $8.3 billion a year in total spending and $4 billion in gross product. Gross product measures the amount of money that comes as a result of the industry.

Along with the financial benefit to the economy, more than 50,700 people are employed in the industry in the United States alone.

The study also noted that thousands of young women who participated in the Rangerettes program throughout the years have benefited from being a part of the team. In addition, the Rangerettes have encouraged attendance at Kilgore College and the events where they performed.

"The years the Rangerettes have performed at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the number of high school students wanting to participate in the parade the following year increased," said Joyce Pennington, president of the American Drill Team School. "The same is true of event attendance. It's been my experience that, when publicized appropriately and with enough lead time, the Kilgore College Rangerettes impact event attendance."

The city of Kilgore has also received worldwide recognition as a result of the program.

"Ask almost anyone, anywhere about Kilgore and usually the first thing they say is 'Rangerettes,'" said Amanda Nobles with the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation. "The Rangerettes are an incredible ambassador for Kilgore College and the entire city of Kilgore. We have built a local brand around the precision performance and hospitality that are among the group's hallmarks."

Miss Gussie Nell Davis founded the Rangerettes in 1939 to attract more women to Kilgore College and balance out the male-female student ratio. Since their debut performance in 1940, the Rangerettes have performed at presidential inaugurations, international festivals and other high-profile events.

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